Maria Mitchell

August 1, 1818
June 28, 1889
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Not to be confused with Maia Mitchell, Australian actress and singer.Maria Mitchell was an American astronomer, who in 1847 by using a telescope, discovered a comet, which as a result became known as Miss Mitchell's Comet. She won a gold medal prize for her discovery, which was presented to her by King Frederick VI of Denmark. On the medal was inscribed Non Frustra Signorum Obitus Speculamur et Ortus in Latin (taken from Georgics by Virgil . Mitchell was the first American woman to work as a professional astronomer.The third of ten children, she was raised in the Quaker religion, but later adopted Christian Unitarianism.Early yearsMaria Mitchell was born in Nantucket, a small island off the coast of Massachusetts.

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